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Traveling Market allows Business Owners To Have an Income During the Winter

MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink)—For three months out of the year, hundreds of businesses are able to sell their wares to the public out of one location. Shipshewana, Indiana is a small town in Northern Indiana known for having a market specializing in a variety of goods in the summer. 

However, when the weather starts to get colder, Shipshewana On The Road provides those business owners with the platform to sell their goods indoors and out of the cold weather. The market provides over 200 vendors with a platform to reach other areas and make money during this time of year. 

"They struggle to find things to do during the winter months,” said event director Greg Fountain. “So, we started to do this and offering them something to do during the months of October and April.”

Fountain said the shows have been such a success; they have grown from 10 shows a year to about 20 shows for 2019. The shows take place all over the Great Lakes, but specifically can be found in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. 

These shows have been a blessing for the vendors because it has allowed for them to continue selling their product. 

“This is all that we do,” said Paul Terpstrak, owner of Paul’s Gourmet Jerky. “This is the only way that we sell our product.” 

Terpstra doesn’t sell his jerky in a traditional commercial grocery store because he wants his customers to be able to taste the freshly smoked meat. Terpstra and his wife individually package all of their jerky. Terpstra said that the traveling markets allow for the grass-roots of capitalism to show again. 

Those grass-root values and the traveling idea of a town-center is something that many vendors will take a part of. 

“Oh, definitely,” said participating vendor Suzie Eaglieson. “This is what a lot of these vendors do for their main source of income.” 

With their income mainly being supported by their booths,  vendor Kristin Zool said that her booth is unique because they’re able to provide their services year-round. 

In regard to customers, Zool said “They really like our things because they are very different than what you normally see.”

It’s that uniqueness in their jewelry that also makes Shipshewana unique as well, said Zool. 

That uniqueness and variety of products is also appreciated by some of the younger shoppers that were at the traveling market Sunday. 

“I think this is a really great place to shop because it’s like every single interest- vintage, rocks, beauty and even toys,” said Mia Torres. 

Those varied interests are something that Terpstra also appreciates about Shipshewana and traveling markets like this one. 

“People shouldn’t assume anything about an event like this,” Terpstra said. “They should come out and check it out, because I don’t care if you’re eight or eighty, there is something here for everybody.” 

The traveling market does accept credit cards; however, the booths are individual businesses and the traveling market does provide an ATM for anyone who may need it. 

The market will be on the road again in Indiana when it arrives into Kokomo at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center on March 9th and 10th. For more information, on Shipshewana On The Road, visit their website at: shipshewanaontheroad.com.